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Haymaker Market gets $38,000 Grant for EBT Service

City, market receive money through joint application

EBT service at the Haymaker Farmer's Market just got a big boost.

The city and the market received $38,000 from a joint application to expand the use of electronic benefits transfer, or EBT, cards at the weekly outdoor market.

The grant will allow the market to promote it's EBT or Ohio Direction Card. The card acts like a bank debit card and holds food assistance benefits for residents in the program, according to the Ohio EBT website.

Haymaker Market manager Kelly Ferry said the grant will expand access to the market for Kent families.

"I'm excited for the opportunity to develop creative new ways to introduce more families in our community to the benefits of buying local at the market, and to continue building partnerships with other organizations that also support these families," Ferry said.

She said the grant money from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will be used strictly for promoting the market's existing EBT program.

"Operating on a belief that healthy foods shouldn’t be limited to high income families, the Haymaker Market is making sure that their market keeps its strong sense of social conscience," Ruller wrote on his blog.

Editor's note: this story was updated at 9:21 a.m.

Heather Malarcik September 28, 2012 at 11:02 AM
That's awesometastic. So is Kelly Ferry. See how that works? :)
Chris (Kit) Myers September 28, 2012 at 11:12 AM
According to a story in the R-C the market already has equipment so people can use their benefits. So what is creative about this program? It is a very creative way to suck at the public teat and saddle future generations with debt. Apparently Bridget Susel and Dave Ruller don't understand that about half of that $38,855 is money the federal government has to borrow. Wake up, Bridget! Wake up, Dave! If the Farmers' Market supporters want to advertise the market's SNAP or WIC availability, why don't they simply print up a bunch of flyers and stick one on every door in town? And... I purchase perfectly good fruits and veggies at Save-A-Lot at extremely good prices. It's not as if everbody has to run to the Acme or Giant Eagle and pay twice as much for their groceries. The Farmers' Market is wonderful but to suck at the public teat to the tune of more than thirty-eight grand to let people know they can use their benefits there is really a waste of taxpayer money. How many other businesses in Kent have the feds paying for their advertising? Bridget: Will you get a grant to pay for mine?
Debra-Lynn Hook September 28, 2012 at 11:24 AM
I didn't think this money was for advertising. I thought it was for equipment. Maybe I'm naive, but I'm really glad that low-income folks are getting access to locally grown, just-picked organic fruits and vegetables, which are proven to be more nutritious than the produce that is sprayed with pesticides and shipped hundreds of miles to Kent. I am proud to be in a community where a woman like Kelly Ferry works tirelessly on behalf of the people. I believe Haymaker Market to be an asset to the community and thus to the nation, and I'm proud to have such a vibrant asset right here in our midst, serving not only just some of the people, but all of the people. Thank you, Kelly, for working so hard for the city of Kent.
Matt Fredmonsky September 28, 2012 at 01:22 PM
It is for marketing only and not equipment. Our initial reporting was incorrect.
The Omnipotent Sponge - Soak it up! September 28, 2012 at 03:27 PM
The money is only for marketing? What an atrocious waste of money. Build a community garden with the money and teach EVERYONE how to grow their own produce. How to feed themselves from Mother Earth's bounty. Plant a seed, nurture it and in return it will nurture you. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime... Honestly, Kent should be ashamed they don't have a community garden within the city limits. They could invest that money into a lot and turn it into something special, but instead they'll bulldoze the lot next to the SRCA to put up an old house. $38,000 for marketing and advertising. What a waste. Also, I've noticed too many people at the market selling produce they did NOT grow themselves. Boxes of onions from the grocery store, pineapples, etc.
Yggy September 29, 2012 at 09:06 AM
Nobody is selling pineapples at the farmer's market! Get real. Wow. Some people really are just plain horrible. I'm amazed at how acceptable it is to hate and bash the poor and what a rise some people get being sanctimonious about it. And about what?!? Promoting selling local produce, produce that is actually grown by our friends and neighbors. This grant does not prevent anyone from starting a community garden either. I think it's wonderful that our tax dollars will be used to get the word out about EBT at the market. It's good for the local economy, good for people's heath, good for the community. Advertising changes perceptions. Getting those with limited means to think about the market as an option for healthy shopping is an investment in our future and the future of young families.
The Omnipotent Sponge - Soak it up! September 29, 2012 at 01:13 PM
I haven't returned to the market in 3 years because I saw pineapples. Also canatloupes are not ripe in May nor should they have stickers with numbers on them as they do at the grocery store. Corn isn't ready in June either though I remember a man selling his "bumper early crop" that was horrible to say the least. There are plenty of people selling their goods they grew/made themselves, but a few bad apples can spoil the whole bunch. Advertising may change percetions (gotta buy a brand name, right?), but don't forget the Water Street Church also has a fantastic farmers market plus a little community garden of their own. Kent's little market under the bridge isn't the only one around. So much money just blowing in the wind.
Chris (Kit) Myers October 01, 2012 at 01:07 AM
The poor in Kent are not stupid. They know there is a farmers' market. Just print up some flyers letting them know they can use their food cards there and put one on every door in town. There are print shops in Kent. It won't cost $250.00. Shame on anybody who will accept that thirty-eight grand from the feds. Can't anybody do anything themselves anymore? Lazy, lazy, lazy...
Fred Pierre October 01, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Why don't you take it up with the USDA, rather than criticize our local folks who are just trying to promote the market through a grant that I am sure many farmer's markets were competing for? The program is available, the money is being handed out, why not go for it and make our market a popular place to shop? It's like the stimulus program, you could tell Kent not to apply, but hey, the money is available and it anchored our redevelopment. Grow the food, grow the customer base, grow the market.

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